… do this in remembrance of Me. – Luke 22:19
It is in the process of being worshiped that God communicates His presence to men. – C.S. Lewis
Deception. Treachery. Betrayal. The process was in motion. Disillusioned and frustrated, Judas had already made his deal with the devil: he gives Jesus to the evil rulers, and they give him what amounts to about $600 today. It was all arranged in secret, but Jesus knew. He had always known. That doesn’t make it hurt any less. The dread is looming. The pain is inevitable. The cross is coming.
Still, it is time for the Passover meal, so the brothers gather together. And even here, with the temptation to be distracted by the coming threats, Jesus listens to the leadership of His Father, and so yet again He surprises His followers.
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. – John 13:1-5
Here at Antioch, we have an incredible, life-changing conference called World Mandate, often affectionately abbreviated to “Mandate” by our attendees. This mandate, this call comes from Jesus’ words in the Great Commission. But Jesus gave another mandate that changed history as well. And He didn’t give this charge as He was victoriously ascending into heaven. He gave it after having done the slave’s task of washing His disciples’ feet:
“LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.”
Because of these paradigm-shifting words after an unparalleled act of servant leadership, through the centuries, Holy Thursday has been called Mandate Thursday, more commonly known as Maundy Thursday.
This is the Jesus we worship with our hearts, our songs and our very lives. The King who kneels down to serve us, and while our eyes are still wide with wonder at this exchange, He calls us to do the same for other people.
HE ALWAYS MAKES A WAY FOR US TO DRAW NEAR TO HIM WITH HIS LOVE, AND THEN CALLS US TO JOIN HIM ON HIS MISSION TO CHANGE THE WORLD WITH THE SAME LOVE.
Every other religion in the world is basically a code of ethics, a list of rules to keep. This is why so much worship in the world is done from an emotional distance; it is people merely fulfilling the basic level of commitment to their particular “supreme being.” Every other religion is a list of rights and wrongs to abide by in order to earn our way to God. But Jesus is the real God, the only God who knew we could never earn our way to Him – so He came to us.
His loving pursuit of our hearts has always been relentless and extravagant.
HE DID WHATEVER IT TOOK TO WIN US BACK TO GOD.
He “wasted” His love and blood on us. So extravagant worship – worship that costs us something: our focus, our energy, our thoughts, our affections – is an appropriate response to the extravagant love of God.
Thankfulness is a sacrifice; it costs us something. When we overcome our laziness and unbelief to thank God out loud, it pleases His heart. Praise is often a sacrifice because it is a choice to remember.
- Remember how much God has done for you
- Remember how He’s never left you alone
- Remember that every perfect gift comes from your Father
- Remember that He promises that your future is in His hands
Remember. And today we commemorate one occasion when Jesus personally requested for us to remember Him. He sat in a room with His disciples and told them… to remember.
And He took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” – Luke 22:19-20
The faithful sacrament of Communion, or the Eucharist, is worship in itself. Let us never forget it. Let’s be the ones who fulfill Jesus’ request: remember. I love it that directly after the first Communion it was first nature for Jesus and His disciples to sing to God. They took time to worship God together.
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Matthew 26:30
The Hebrew word “ZAMAR” carries with it a meaning with which we are very familiar. Zamar means to play musical instruments in order to sing songs and make music that bring praise to God. It’s what we do these days – play guitar and sing. Today, play an instrument if you have one. Let every note and every beat bring to mind how Jesus has served you. Even if you don’t play an instrument, by all means – sing! Click the songs below and sing! And as you sing, remember Jesus.
MUSIC AND VIDEO:
You can find the other devotionals for this week here.
By James Mark Gulley, Worship Pastor